While there are no standards in terms of linen-closet size, some specific dimensions will help you design one suitable for storing all your items. This project requires some forethought and planning. Measuring your own items also helps as well. If you spend enough time designing the linen closet, you will end up with something that suits your needs.
Planning the Design
Take a few different perspectives and known measurements into account before you begin the design phase. A typical linen closet is usually 30 to 36 inches wide. This width allows for side-by-side storage of towels, bed sheets and other items on the shelves. Shelf board is easily cut to any dimension, so planning a closet around the size of the shelving is not necessarily a good thing. Planning the width based on the size of the items stored inside is the best method. Measure these items prior to designing the closet if possible.
Door sizes are standardized. Most doors come in a range of width sizes, however. They start at 28 inches and increase in size every 2 inches up to 36 inches. This door size is a big factor in determining your linen-closet width. The linen closet cannot be smaller than the width of the door, or the door will not mount properly on the closet. Custom cut doors are available in almost any size. If your closet space requires a custom cut door, it will cost more as well.
The height of any linen closet is almost always the height of the ceiling. Closets extend up to the ceiling with framed walls built into the existing space. Reducing the height is not beneficial in any way, and it adds more work to the process. Extending the height of the ceiling is often impossible, as it involves cutting into ceiling joists. The benefits are limited to expanding the ceiling height as well, because access to shelving up high is limited by the door height. Standard door heights are 80 inches.
Consider the amount of shelving inside the linen closet before you decide on the width. Spacing shelving every 15 inches is a standard, common practice when installing shelves. This provides plenty of room for most any object, and it allows for plenty of shelves inside the closet. The first shelf is usually higher from the floor, between 18 and 20 inches. This leaves room for about five total shelves in the linen closet.
The depth of the closet is another factor. Linen closets are not typically very deep. Some may only extend back 15 inches while others are 24-inches deep. This depth accommodates most towels and sheets, the main items kept in the linen closet. These items only measure about 12 inches square in most cases. Depths greater than this provide more room, but reaching into the closet and accessing these items becomes limited because you have to reach farther into the space to retrieve them.